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The Practice of Home: Biography of a House
Synopses & Reviews
Charles Goodrich is a poet, a gardener, a father, a husband, a neighbor, a tinkerer, a builder of houses. In twenty essays, shimmering with truth and grace, Goodrich explores the home birth of his son, nights spent walking a screaming infant, years devoted to building and remodeling his house, his own battle with alcoholism, and the joys of small spaces, while always pursuing his ultimate subject: How to live one's life. The Practice of Home is a brilliantly written, warmly funny and ironic testimony to the home-made and the close-at-hand.
He writes, "I wanted to discover whether building a house could be a way of building a self." What he discovers is "the practice of home," which he recommends "as a kind of adventure, as travel of the most demanding and rewarding sort, for the practice of home leads us deeper and deeper into our own communities, into our native intelligence, and into our souls." "I built a house," he writes. "I botched a lot of things, but it all came out alright. Let me tell you about it."
And we are blessed in his telling, which sings with laughter, acute observation, sound philosophy, and razor-sharp insight. Goodrich is a writer to read, re-read, and thoroughly enjoy.
A refreshing look at parenting, love, and building one's own house.
About the Author
Charles Goodrich had a long career as a professional gardener. He's the author of a recent book of poetry, The Insects of South Corvallis, from which five of his poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio. He has earned fellowships from Fishtrap, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the 2001 Walt Morey fellowship from Literary Arts. His work has been widely anthologized. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon, with his wife and son.
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